Monday, October 11, 2010

Growing long, African American hair with natural products

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If you are like me, you have used the endless products on the market from chemical straighteners, wraps, super heated blow dryers, straightening combs, tight braids causing alopecia and colors all in the name of beautry. Sadly, the results have been to the detriment of your tightly coiled African American hair. Have you ever wondered if  your curly hair can be successfully grown to shoulder length? The answer probably is not as difficult as you might think.  The first thing is to stop the cycle of abuse. 

Let's consider some of the natural things that one can do to stop the hair abuse and grow out healthy and strong locks.

Break the cycle of abuse

Stop, do not pass go!  In taking a look at African American hair, we learn that it is tightly curled which makes it more fragile and susceptible to dryness and breakage. So, anyone wanting to grow a healthy mane must realize that fragile hair has to be given extra care, not damaging products.

Historically, black women have used the extreme heat of straightening combs.  Eve at the extreme super heated temperatures, this did not remove all of the wave pattern in Afircan American hair. The curl is temporarily relaxed and returns once the hair is near water or humidity. Many women have had their hair fried during this tedious process of applying a pressing oil and the hot temperatures of a stove heated comb.

Further, using the numerous chemical products on the market only continues the cycle of dryness, damage and breakage.  Perms alter the sulfur bonds rendering the hair weak. Now, just imagine blow drying chemically altered hair.  This is a recipe for disaster! First things first,  let the hair rest and breathe.  And, turn to your kitchen for the prescription and return to health for your hair and body.


First things first

Let's start out with a squeaky clean head of hair.  I have recently found out about some inexpensive shampoos that contain herbs such as henna.  This herb is great for strengthening and coating the hair and root.  Be careful not to wash too frequently as this is also a source of dryness. 

Also remember, not to  use very hot water on the hair as this will cause additional dryness.

Pre-treat the hair by  applying a good oil conditioner such as olive oil.  This is a tried and true natural product that has been used for thousands of years.   Olive oil is rich in essential fatty acis as well as omegas 3 and 6  which will add luster and sheen to the hair  All of these nutrients are also important in promoting hair growth and preventing breakage.

Seal in the moisture from the treatment by applying a plastic cap for about thirty minutes. Proceed to shampoo the hair well after the treatment.

Also, many people use eggs which are high in protein (remember, the hair consists of keratin, a protein). Similarly, apply prior to shampoo, and distribute well.   Cover with a plastic cap.  Rinse and cleanse well.

Never brush wet hair.  Carefully use a wide tooth comb to loosed any kinks.

Daily combing is good for circulation and for helping to distribute hair oils. Remember the old adage, 100 strokes per night?

Nutrition counts too

Make sure that your diet also consists of a lot of fresh  fruits and vegetables.  ((You must eat healthy in order to get healthy stronger hair).

Include a good vitamin supplement with collagen, vitamin C and B complex vitamins.
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